IT Problems Derail West Ada School District's First Day Of Class

Sep 8, 2020

Tech problems for Idaho’s largest school district meant a shakey start to the first day of school Tuesday.

Server problems nationwide with Blackboard, an online learning tool used by West Ada School District, blocked many students from being able to log into their virtual classrooms, according to district spokeswoman Char Jackson.

The West Ada Board of Trustees voted to delay the start of the school year last month, eventually choosing to enroll all students in online learning until community spread of the coronavirus had lessoned. 

Angela Voll’s daughter, who is starting sixth grade, was one of the students caught up in the tech mess. Voll said it was a “challenging” morning and they had to switch from a district-issued laptop to a personal computer to make it work.

“We were not sure what we were going to get into,” she said. “Had it not been for the technical issues, I would’ve said it would’ve been a great morning.”

Other parents commented on the district’s Facebook page that their kids weren’t able to access email or any other learning materials.

Despite the tech problems, Voll said she doesn’t blame the district, where she also substitute teaches.

“We need to have patience and grace with our teachers. This is not their fault. They’re the ones that are trying to make it better for our kids,” she said.

Jackson, the district spokeswoman, said there’s no estimated time on when the problems will be fixed.

Earlier Tuesday, Central District Health upgraded Ada County schools from red to yellow in terms of the spread of coronavirus. Doing so paves the way for West Ada to open classrooms for in-person learning for the first time this school year.

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